Two new Loop 303 interchanges critical for economic development

By Maricopa Association of Governments

Two critical new traffic interchanges are now open at 51st and 43rd avenues along the Loop 303. The interchanges will help address traffic growth prompted by current and planned development, including providing direct access to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest contract silicon chip manufacturer. Construction of the interchanges was funded through Maricopa County’s dedicated half-cent transportation sales tax known as Proposition 400.

“Prop 400 is creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, growing businesses right here in Arizona, and securing our state’s economic future,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “Businesses like TSMC choose to invest in Arizona because of our world-class workforce and critical infrastructure investments like Loop 303. I am laser-focused on investing in our state’s future so Arizona’s dynamic economy can continue to lead the country in advanced manufacturing and innovation.”

Construction of the interchanges began in September 2022; they are now open to traffic less than one year later. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Chair and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego credited the sales tax for allowing the interchanges to be built quickly. “Thanks to the funding in Proposition 400, we were able to build these two new interchanges with urgency and meet the growing needs of our community in north Phoenix. A big reason TSMC chose our city for their expansion was our modern transportation infrastructure, and these new traffic improvements are that asset in action.”

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), said the project is the latest example of the tie between transportation and economic development. “With TSMC projected to invest $40 billion by 2026, a project like this demonstrates just how important the half-cent sales tax funding is to ensure regional access that corresponds with growth.”

The interchanges will help relieve future congestion in the area and allow for continued development and growth of current businesses and services. HonorHealth Sonoran Crossing Medical Center is located just east of I-17 along Dove Valley Road.

“This interchange project will provide important connectivity not only for today but also in the future as more development continues,” said Todd LaPorte, CEO of HonorHealth. ”While we have no immediate expansion plans, we will continue to grow that campus to meet community needs,” he noted.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is also credited for constructing the project so quickly, implementing innovative strategies such as advance acquisition of long-lead items like traffic signal poles to meet the aggressive schedule. Now that the interchanges are open to traffic, connectivity in the area will be improved.

Brian Harrison, president of TSMC Arizona said the interchanges are being delivered at a particularly important time to support the facility during its construction. “With the hard work and great support from the state of Arizona and the city of Phoenix, we have made tremendous progress on our advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility. A supportive infrastructure is critical for the ongoing construction, our long-term operations, and for the growing footprint of the semiconductor supply chain in the region,” said Harrison. “That infrastructure support includes transportation and the roadways needed in north Phoenix. We are grateful for the efforts by the state to complete these important Loop 303 interchanges.”

Improvements include the construction of new bridges over 51st and 43rd avenues, extending the southbound Loop 303 frontage road from 43rd to 51st avenues, shifting of the 51st Avenue interchange to accommodate the realignment of 51st Avenue, as well as drainage upgrades, new signals, signs, pavement markings, and lights.

An extension of Proposition 400 is slated to fund additional improvements on Loop 303 from Lake Pleasant Parkway to I-17. This includes a third general purpose lane throughout the corridor and construction of the system interchange at Loop 303 and I-17. A vote to extend Proposition 400 will be brought forward to Maricopa County residents in 2024.

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